Why were they grumbling? They knew him! They knew Jesus, the son of Joseph of Nazareth. They knew his mom, Mary, too. In Nazareth they knew his brothers and sisters. They could go to Bethlehem and talk to a few shepherds or go to Jerusalem and interview a priest. They had known Jesus from the beginning of his life. They knew his family.
Then Jesus told the crowds that he had come down from heaven! The picture he used was brilliant. Remember the manna that fell from heaven, sent from God? Remember how it saved the lives of millions of people as they wandered in the desert for forty years? Well, Jesus offers more! He promises that those who trust in him will live forever. This promise comes from the One who came down from heaven (John 6:49-51).
“Stop grumbling!” Jesus says. What a blessing to know that we have a Savior who is just like us – totally acquainted with struggles and challenges of human life: hunger, thirst, sadness, exhaustion, suffering, bleeding, dying. Jesus is our flesh and blood Savior, and he uses that flesh and blood to pay for the sins of the world. He gives us himself as the “bread of life” so that we can live forever.
“Stop grumbling!” What a blessing to know that we have a Savior who is God himself. He says, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life” (John 6:47).
A large portion of John chapter 6 is filled with promises from our Friend, Jesus. Who could grumble about the gift of everlasting life, a gift from the Holy Spirit who gives us faith in Jesus by the power of the gospel? Who could keep on complaining that God the Father himself, our dear Father in heaven, draws us to himself now and forever?
And what believer will be grumbling on the last day when we rise from the dead and take our place at Jesus’ right hand in the glory of heaven?